Help Kids with Divorce
The anger and frustration of a divorce can unfortunately take its toll on the children involved. Often without realizing it, men and women will use their children as pawns in their divorce settlements in order to achieve certain goals. Those goals are usually revolving around a selfish desire for revenge.
The true victims of a vengeful divorce are the children if they are used as pawns to gain leverage. It is quite rare for a divorce to occur in which both parties are equally emotional. Therefore, one ex-spouse will be at least a little angrier than the other. At least. One ex-spouse is often much angrier than the other, feeling betrayed, lied to, and abandoned. When someone promises you a lifetime of love and support then decides to pick up and leave for any reason, the frustration levels will be high. So, you can see why many parents, often without even knowing it, will use their children as pawns as a way to get back at the ex-spouse they are so angry with.
If you find yourself in a divorce or feel you may be headed for one, it is of the utmost importance that you save time and attention for your children. One major mistake divorcing parents make is succumbing to selfishness. Although it's true that their lives are changing and there are many decisions to be made, divorcing parents must keep a focus on their children in order to harm them as little as possible. If a child is left out of the process and is never explained what is actually happening, they are left to use their imaginations to fill in the blanks. Whether they begin to blame themselves or something else, they will have a skewed perspective of the divorce and their place within it. When they have no concrete explanation, they are forced to analyze a situation they know nothing about.
A common way for children to be isolated from one parent is to be forced into it by the other parent. In divorces, many parents choose to isolate the children from the other parent as a form of punishment. If a mother is getting a divorce and is completely frustrated with the father, she could attempt to keep the children with her in order to punish the father. This is another way a child can be used as a pawn, become isolated, and have their perspective skewed. If you find yourself in this situation, make constant efforts to see and communicate with your children.
By focusing consistent attention on your children during a divorce, you will be avoiding major pitfalls and dangers within the process. One reason many divorcing parents find it easy to use their children as pawns during divorce settlements is because one parent is not spending as much time with the child. If one parent decides to leave the home and have almost no communication with their child, the other parent will have an opportunity to persuade the child. The parent with the child has enough time to explain their side of the story, whether what they say is true or not, and in a way turn the child against that other parent. This can happen without the present parent even knowing they are doing it.
With a divorce rate over 50%, you can imagine that many divorces are aggressive and full of tension. When a divorcing parent is feeling anger and frustration over a divorce, plus they have the child's full attention, they are much more likely to use their children as pawns in the divorce. That angry parent will seemingly do anything to "win" a divorce settlement, so they use manipulative tactics to persuade their ex. A fight for custody of the children can occur simply because one parents is angry at the other, not because they are actually wanting that level of custody. This can both confuse the children and make them consider thoughts they never should in the first place.
Not only do many divorcing parents isolate their children without knowing it, but they can also disrupt their sense of safety and destroy the nurturing environment they are used to. On top of feelings of abandonment, the children see the parents arguing, maybe screaming at each other and becoming violent, and their sense of safety starts to break. When you combine this with the other unfortunate thoughts and emotions the children might be dealing with, you can really see how a divorce can seriously affect children in a negative way.
Using children as pawns in a divorce and allowing your own selfish emotions to get in the way of caring for them will have lifelong effects on them, both emotionally and psychologically. While one child may deal with the process of their parents divorcing one way, the next child may deal with it in a completely different way. Their perspectives may be completely different while their situations are exactly the same. Because children are so open-minded and imaginative, they will always have a unique perspective on the events going on around them. This unique perspective, however, is often incorrect and can cause problems for them in the future.
One consequence of using your children as pawns in a divorce is the way they will look at themselves. When a father isolates his children from their mother and convinces his children that their mother is a horrible person, the children can then conclude that they themselves are horrible people. They surmise that if their mommy is a bad person, they must be bad people too.. This is a psychological process that many parents are unaware of. Due to this unawareness, the divorcing parents are often the main cause.
Another common consequence involves misunderstanding and blame. When a child is not given serious attention and care during a divorce, they can develop incorrect assumptions of why the divorce is occurring. Many children, when left in the dark about why their parents are splitting up, tend to blame themselves. They start to believe that one of the parents did and does not love them. To many children, that is the only explanation that makes sense because it is the only explanation they can come up with. This can even lead to the children believing that they are the full cause of the problem and that they, themselves, should be the ones leaving for good. The consequences of using a child in a divorce also causes problems in the future. According to studies, people who were the children of divorcing parents tended to show more signs of anxiety and depression. If you are getting a divorce and want to avoid causing current and future problems for your children, keep reading for some tips on how.
Communication is key in minimizing the toll a divorce will have on the children involved. By not only talking with your children, but also listening to what they have to say about their own views and feelings, you will have a strong grasp on what they understand and what they don't. From there, you can help to explain the situation clearly and correctly.
You should start by making 100% sure that your children know they are not the cause of the divorce. Explain to them the true reasons for your divorce and attempt to speak in terms they will understand. Instead of trying to hide this and that, be honest about the divorce and treat your children with the respect they deserve. As part of the family, they have the right to know what is going on just as much as you do. Don't hide parts of the story that might "shelter" them from harmful thoughts; instead, allow your children to grow with this experience by giving them any part of the story they need to understand it fully. By understanding the true causes of the divorce, they will have no reason to blame or think badly about themselves. Have open conversations with your children as much as you or they see fit. Try to be available to them as much as possible, even if it's just over the phone. By hearing your voice and keeping their trust in you, your children will have a better chance of successfully dealing with the divorce and avoiding problems in the future.
If you have multiple children, pay close attention to each one and how they are specifically dealing with the divorce process. Some children may require convincing to begin talking openly about it while others may never stop. Pay attention to each of their habits and make sure they are acting appropriately for their age group. One child may deal with the divorce much better than the other, so giving proper attention to each will heed benefits. Be observant and cater to each child individually. You can also have family talks in which everyone can listen and be heard. These suggestions are simply forms of communication, the key for a successful divorce.
Avoid using the children for information, or as a way to interact with the other parent. Many people will send messages through their children or will try to extract information about the other parent. Some parents even use their alone time with the child to talk badly about the other parent in order to sway their attitude. These actions only break up the ties within the family and distance the child from the isolated parent. Maintain consistent contact with your ex-spouse and show your children that you have an amiable, adult relationship. Don't argue in front of the children and don't try to make them think certain things about the other parent. These forms of manipulation will harm you, your ex-spouse, but mostly the children involved. Maintain their normal routine as closely as possible and never, ever expect the child to take over the responsibilities of the other parent.
When you are involved in a custody battle, do everything in your power to achieve a result that is most advantageous for the children. Instead of using the custody battle to punish your ex spouse, use it as a way to find the best possible solution for your children. Try to ignore your negative emotions and focus on the good of the kids. While there are a lot of problems with divorcing parents manipulating their children, most parents can agree that they deeply love their children and only want the best for them. This is why many couples stay together for the good of the children.
While it's easy to let your emotions get the better of you, maintain a constant focus on your children during a divorce. Be open with them, communicate consistently, and don't try to hide anything from them. Treat them as mature people who can and should understand the true reasons for what is going on. A lack of communication is what starts most problems in this situation, so be sure to educate and listen. Use common sense, be honest, and communicate.
Help Kids with Divorce